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    If you are a 20-something or 30-something University of Louisville men’s basketball fan the best players in the program’s 100-season history are easily identifiable by your family’s generations.

    The best player of your great-grandfather’s era? Charlie Tyra.

    The best player of your grandfather’s era? Wes Unseld.

    The best player of your father’s era? Darrell Griffith.

    The best player of your brother’s era? Pervis Ellison.

    So who’s the best player of your era? To come to that conclusion we’ve looked at the best UofL players from the last 20 seasons (1994-95 to 2013-14) and picked out the Top 20. Here are our rankings:

    20. Luke Hancock (2012-14) - Cool Hand Luke earns this spot based on the simple fact that he was the MOP (Most Outstanding Player) of the 2013 Final Four.

    19. Jerry Smith (2006-10) - The under-sized shooting guard ranks

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    on the all-time scoring list (1,203 points) and fourth in made 3-pointers (210).

    18. Ellis Myles (2000-03 & 2004-05) - One of the leaders on the 2005 Final Four team, Myles ranks sixth all-time in rebounds (998) and 61st in scoring (1,045).

    17. Tony Williams (1996-2000) - The lanky forward was a solid contributor for some teams near the end of the Denny Crum Era. He ranks 47th on the all-time scoring list (1,133).

    16. Samardo Samuels (2008-10) - The big man was a big-time recruit for RIck Pitino, but turned pro after a solid sophomore year (he led the team with 15.3 ppg and 7 rpg that season) and never quite lived up to his hype.

    15. Edgar Sosa (2006-10) - The guard was a lightning-rod player for fans - often praised and often criticized - in his four years. The love for Sosa was never greater, though, than when he beat UK with a last-second 3-pointer.

    14. David Padgett (2005-08) - The 7-footer, who was often a “point-center” in leading Louisville to an average of 24 wins in his three seasons, ranks second in career field-goal percentage (.613).

    13. Nate Johnson (1996-2000) - The forward was a solid scorer - he ranks 20th all-time (1,513 points) - for some of Denny Crum’s last teams. However, his father’s hotel bill led to NCAA sanctions and in essence Crum’s downfall.

    12. Earl Clark (2006-09) - Overshadowed by classmate Derrick Caracter as a freshman, E-5 was a standout as a sophomore and junior for the Cards before turning pro. He ranks 53rd on the all-time scoring list (1,104).

    11. Montrezl Harrell (2012-present) - The forward was a solid contributor off the bench for the Cards in their ‘13 championship season before his breakout sophomore year (14 ppg, 8.4 rpg). He’ll be the centerpiece of the team this season, which will likely be his last in Louisville.

    10. Gorgui Dieng (2010-13) - The center from Senegal was a project when he arrived, but he left Louisville as a first-round NBA Draft pick. He ranks second all-time in blocked shots (267) and holds the single-season record (128).

    9. Taquan Dean (2002-06) - The sharp-shooting guard, who ranks first in program history in made 3-pointers (359), is

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    all-time in scoring (1,649).

    8. Marques Maybin (1997-2001) - The high-flying guard was the leading scorer on Crum’s last two teams. Sadly Maybin, who is the program’s 14

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    all-time leading scorer (1,624 points), was partially paralyzed in a 2003 motorcycle accident.

    7. Francisco Garcia (2002-05) - The high-scoring swingman, who ranks

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    on the all-time scoring list (1,413) despite playing only three seasons, led Louisville to the ‘05 Final Four.

    6. Samaki Walker (1994-96) - The big man was a two-year standout for the Cards - memorably producing the program’s first-ever triple-double in a New Year’s day win over UK - before turning pro (and wearing this horrendous ensemble at the NBA Draft).

    5. Terrence Williams (2005-09) - T-Will was a stat-sheet stuffer - he has two of the program’s three triple-doubles - during his days and because of that he ranks 19th all-time in scoring (1,565 points), seventh in rebounding (970) and third in assists (545). About the only thing he didn’t do was make a Final Four.  

    4. Peyton Siva (2009-13) - Siva was simply a winner, leading Louisville to 110 victories - most notably in the 2013 title game - in his four years. He ranks second all-time in assists (677) and steals (254) and 37th in scoring (1,215 points).

    3. Reece Gaines (1999-2003) - The big guard, who had a penchant for last-second heroics (see the Tennessee & Marquette games), thrived under Pitino. Gaines is the program’s fourth all-time leading scorer (1,945 points) who also ranks third in made 3-pointers (225).

    2. DeJuan Wheat (1993-97) - The hometown hero (Wheat graduated from Ballard High School) became the first player in Division I history to amass at least 2,000 points (his 2,183 points rank second in school history), 450 assists (his 498 rank fifth), 300 3-pointers (his 323 rank second) and 200 steals (his 204 rank eighth). The only thing his resume lacks is a trip to the Final Four.

    1. Russ Smith (2010-14) - Russdiculous and Wheat, both slight-framed guards, could share the label “inch-for-inch, pound-for-pound the best player in UofL history” as well as best players of the last 20 seasons. However Smith, who ranks fifth on the all-time scoring list (1,908 points) as well as first in steals (257) and second in free throws made (488), gets the nod at No. 1 on this list because his career winning percentage (79.6) was about 10 points higher than Wheat’s and he made two Final Fours and won one title.

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